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Israeli army says drone crashed in south Lebanon

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Ghanaian peacekeepers with the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) monitor the border between Lebanon and Israel in the southern Lebanese town of Ramyeh in the Bint Jbeil District on September 9, 2019. – Hezbollah said it had shot down an “Israeli drone” as it crossed the border into Lebanon, a week after a flash confrontation between the arch-foes. (Photo by Mahmoud ZAYYAT / AFP)

Israel’s army said Monday that one of its drones “fell” in Lebanon, without directly denying Hezbollah claims that it shot the aircraft down.

“Yesterday, Sunday, an Israel Defence Forces drone in northern Israel fell into Lebanese territory. There is no risk of a breach of information,” an army spokeswoman told AFP, without giving further details.

Lebanon’s Shiite movement Hezbollah, which exchanged fire with Israeli forces in a flash confrontation last week, said it had downed the drone.

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A Hezbollah statement said Monday that its fighters “confronted with the appropriate weapons an Israeli drone” heading towards the border village of Ramyeh.

The group said the aircraft was now in its hands.

Last week’s flare-up was sparked by an Israeli strike in Syria which killed two Hezbollah fighters on August 24. Israel said the strike prevented a drone attack on its territory by an Iranian force.

That was followed hours later by what Hezbollah described as an Israeli drone strike on its Beirut stronghold.

Israel did not acknowledge that attack, but accused Hezbollah and Iran of colluding to produce precision-guided missiles on Lebanese soil.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has said his organisation would shoot down any Israeli drone entering Lebanese airspace.

In the September 1 flare-up, Iran-backed Hezbollah fired anti-tank missiles into Israel, hitting military targets.

Israel’s army said it responded with around 100 artillery shells after Hezbollah targeted a battalion headquarters and military ambulance.

Israel denied Hezbollah claims its strikes had caused casualties.

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